Whether you drink it or make it into a cocktail, sauce, or marinade, apple juice will always taste delicious! But what about its gluten content?
Apple juice and apple cider are usually gluten-free when made from the juice of real apples. But they can contain gluten if they are exposed to wheat, rye, licorice, malt, and other gluten-containing ingredients during production.
What apple juice brands are gluten-free, and what about apple cider? Scroll down to find out!
Is Apple Juice Usually Gluten-Free?
Apple juice is considered free from gluten if it’s made from the real juice of apples.
The principal originator of gluten is wheat. Other ingredients include, barley, oat, rye, and other related grains, cross-breeds such as Khorasan, spelt, and emmer, and the products of these grains such as malt (source: Gluten Associated Medical Problems).
Fresh and frozen fruits naturally do not contain gluten. But processed fruits including dried fruits aren’t always free from gluten. A product’s packaging will list or indicate possible gluten-containing ingredients which means you will have to thoroughly read through it (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
Like other fruit juices, apple juice can be taken from the fruit, heat-treated, and bottled for consumption. On the other hand, it can be processed into an apple juice concentrate by separating the components, and then later diluted back with water to make juice.
This can make a concentrate or juice from concentrate vulnerable to gluten exposure during processing (if ever there is exposure) because the components are separated.
According to FDA, manufacturers are not required to label their products as gluten-free. But if they do, they have to follow a set of regulations. One of these is that a product, apple juice in this case, can be considered gluten-free if it has less than 20 ppm of gluten (source: FDA).
In Europe, the figures are different. There are two terms to be considered: “very low gluten” and “gluten-free”. Very low gluten is applied to foods with less than 100 mg/kg of gluten, while gluten-free is applied to those that have less than 20 mg/kg of gluten (source: EUR-Lex).
And unlike FDA, the EU requires all gluten-containing foods with scientific proof of an intolerance or allergenic reaction, to label their ingredients that have gluten components (source: European Commission).
The “gluten-free” label can be applied to specialist processed products that are gluten-free like flour, bread, soups, and ready-to-eat food products. Less than 20 ppm of gluten has been found to not affect patients with celiac disease.
As for the “very low gluten” label, it’s not found much in the UK but it is in other European countries (source: Coeliac UK).
So, if you happen to have a European brand of apple juice, check for additional ingredients that are not gluten-free. There is no official list from the EU of these gluten ingredients, but this list can be your guide. Look for gluten, wheat, rye, licorice, malt, and more.
Brand Guide: Gluten-Free Apple Juices
Based on the manufacturer, let’s check if these brands’ apple juice is gluten-free or not:
According to their website, Mott’s Sensibles Apple Juice is gluten-free (source: Motts).
According to their website’s FAQs, all their products are gluten-free. This means that all their apple juice offerings, including cider, are free from gluten.
On the FAQs page of their website, all Minute Maid 100% juice products or those not added with other ingredients are free from gluten. According to them, you can contact them for more information about the gluten status of their other products. This will help you make a more informed decision (source: Minute Maid).
Tropicana didn’t label their apple juice as gluten-free. There is no indication of the absence of gluten in their products on their website.
Dole doesn’t label their products gluten-free, nor do they state it on their website. However, Dole partnered with Celiac Disease Foundation to promote awareness and drive early diagnosis of celiac disease. This could mean that their juice products are gluten-free (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
Like Tropicana, Allen’s didn’t label their apple juice drink as gluten-free and they didn’t indicate on their website the absence of gluten in their products.
According to their website, Juicy Juice apple juice and other products do not have gluten because they don’t contain wheat, barley, rye, and oats (source: Juicy Juice).
Great Value 100% apple juice doesn’t have a gluten-free food product label on its packaging, nor does Walmart state that it is.
Is Apple Cider Juice Also Gluten Free, or Not?
Apple cider is the raw or unfiltered juice of apples, unlike regular apple juice that’s been filtered. Some brands of apple cider are gluten-free.
Musselman’s Fresh Pressed 100% Apple Cider as well as Mayer Bros Fresh Crisp Apple Cider are gluten-free according to Walmart. However, they did not indicate this on their label or their website.
If manufacturers label their apple juice gluten-free, then you should be good. You can drink apple juice safely.
For those that don’t label their apple juice drink as gluten-free, or state it on their website, you will need to fact-check by reaching the manufacturer to be sure that gluten will be avoided.
We hope you found this a helpful guide!